Pa. will require hospitals to track pregnancy and birth-related health complications

The Pennsylvania Department of Health will soon be required to track the health issues that mothers go through during pregnancy and birth, as part of an effort to address the state’s high maternal death rates.

The General Assembly sent a bill to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk last week that would require the Department of Health to list “severe maternal morbidity” on death certificates and hospital discharges.

Severe maternal morbidity is any long- or short-term health problem that results from being pregnant or giving birth. This differs from maternal mortality, which is when a person dies during pregnancy or from pregnancy-related complications.

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